JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is celebrating its 50th anniversary by going on a North American tour. James Delisco Beeks brings the iconic role of Judas to life in this reinvented version of the show that pays tribute to the concept concert album that started it all. This show, which aims to please both concert and theatre fans is playing at Broadway San Diego through November 17th.
James has performed in KINKY BOOTS, AIDA, RAGTIME, and more in the past, but to play Judas on the 50th Anniversary tour, in a production that is reinventing how people look at this show, has been an exciting challenge.
The creators really stripped everything I had thought of Judas before. I had never heard the concert album before, and I had to go back to basics. You know when you learn something and have to relearn it again – it was challenging. It’s so fun to go back to the original; it’s been a challenge but it’s really fun.
Because the basis is the original concept album, that has informed the show and staging in new and different ways.
It’s a rock concert; it’s based off of the 1971 concept album. That’s our foundation. We’re taking it to the rock concert roots, using hand held microphones to give it that rock concert feel. It’s also a dance concert as well, so it’s a rock concert mixed with a dance concert with a story behind all of that too.
I’s not just this reimagined tour, but also being in this role, in this show, and to sing these iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber songs that James says is so much fun.
It’s a dream come true. Heaven on our minds and Damned for all time, and are some of my favorite songs and it’s so fun to see the audience reaction. I challenge myself to get better every day and just try to make it the best for people to enjoy the iconic music.
Iconic songs and reinvented staging aside, James still has some favorite moments of the show that are always exciting to perform.
“Heaven on their Minds” is my favorite song, but my favorite moment I think it when Judas turns Jesus over to the priests, and he dips his hands into the silver chest for payment, and his hands turn into silver. He’s stained with the guilt of what they’re doing and I love it.
This show just continues to grow and the tension keeps building until the end and it’s so exciting. I think it’s quite different but I’m really honored and humbled to be a part of such an amazing and iconic piece.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is playing through November 17th at Broadway San Diego at the San Diego Civic Theatre.